WASHINGTON - The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed technical amendments to its formaldehyde emissions standards for composite wood products. 
 
Published last week in the Federal Register, the proposed changes primarily address concerns over testing and certification provisions of the rule published in December 2016, which require suppliers, importers, and manufacturers of hardwood plywood, MDF, and particleboard to limit the products’ formaldehyde emissions.
 
The EPA proposed removing the requirement for annual correlations between third-party certifiers and other mill quality testing procedures. The changes also clarify labeling requirements.
 
The changes are meant to streamline compliance and align more closely with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) Toxic Control Measures (ATCM) Phase II.
 
Public comments from a June meeting influenced the proposed rule. The meeting was held to address technical issues, like correlation and equivalence of testing methods, how test data is treated, and handling sampling requirements.
 
Public comments on the latest proposed changes will be accepted until December 3. 
 
As of Friday, June 1, it is illegal to manufacture or import composite wood products in the U.S. if they contain excessive amounts of formaldehyde. 
 
The EPA estimates the formaldehyde regulations apply to approximately 1 million regulated entities, including those involved in the cabinet, furniture, store fixture, flooring, windows and doors industries. In addition to the CPA and KCMA, other trade associations involved in the effort include the American Home Furnishings Alliance (AHFA), International Wood Products Association (IWPA) and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

 

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